A FilettaThe six male singers of the Corsican vocal ensemble A Filetta entranced the full house at this performance. St George’s Cathedral was the perfect setting for such ethereal and beautifully melded notes. The concert was an Australian debut for A Filetta.

Animated Jean-Claude Aquaviva, a founding member and composer, led Francoise Aragni, Stephane Serra, Jean Sicurani, Maxime Vuillamier and Paul Giansily in a series of short numbers. They were varied in tempo, style and the number of singers involved at any one time. Plaudits also to the wonderful sound mix by Jaques Fach. The programme drew on music from their latest recording Castelli, works commissioned for projects in theatre, dance and film sung in Latin, Corsu and French

The one page programme notes gave the vaguest notion of the content of Castelli (the Castles) – “edifices of the past, places of memory that dominate history but also castles in the sky, sand castles or houses of cards.”

The event would have been so much more enjoyable with even a line to categorize the ideas and emotions being expressed in each piece. I largely failed to comprehend the very occasional verbal interlude, I refuse to call it an explanation or translation. These came intermittently between the soaring vocals of the divine chorale.

The first, I thought I grasped, after an introduction by Acquaviva presumably in Corso. After apologizing for “his “orwful English” the English speaking narrator told us of “Castles and dreams.” Item after vocal aria were performed with gorgeous, lacy, layered tonal levels.

The magically illuminated Cathedral shimmered to create a sublime atmosphere. Aquaviva lead his brilliant ensemble through smooth chorale work overlaid with lovely solos by other members of the ensemble. There were dancing high notes and passionate leads. The melodies woven into a fabric divine.

A Filetta also will also appear in Apocrifu at the Heath Ledger Theatre Thursday 25 to Saturday 27 February.

Perth International Arts Festival presents
A Filetta

Venue: St George's Cathedral & Albany Entertainment Centre, WA
Dates: 19 – 21 Feb 2016
Tickets: $25 – $49
Bookings: perthfestival.com.au

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